FIFA Points are being discontinued in Belgium, but EA says it’s still not gambling

EA has announced that the controversial FIFA Points system will be removed in Belgium on January 31. The decision comes after a pretty lengthy affair that saw FIFA being targeted as the prime example of gambling in video games. And while EA has committed to this discontinuation, the company reiterated its sentiment that the system in place doesn’t equate to gambling.

In its announcement, EA confirmed that the FIFA points system will be removed in Belgium at the end of January. It went on to say that the change in Belgium won’t affect how FIFA works for players, explaining that all “content in the game can be earned through gameplay, as has always been the case, and players can continue to use coins and the in-game transfer market.” Players who still have FIFA Points to spend after the change comes into action will still be able to spend them but won’t be able to purchase any.

The decision to remove FIFA Points was a drawn-out show, that always seemed like the inevitable consequence for EA. Belgian authorities opened up an investigation into the workings on microtransactions in video games last year, concluding that FIFA and a few other loot box-heavy titles could be considered gambling, meaning these games would have to abide by the gambling legislation in Belgium.

EA made it clear that it doesn’t agree with the Belgian agency’s conclusion, saying that while “we are taking this action, we do not agree with Belgian authorities’ interpretation of the law,” and that it would “continue to seek more clarity on the matter as we go forward,” so it’s unlikely that this will be the last that Belgium hears from EA.

The announcement from EA hasn’t garnered much support for its cause, with one Reddit thread accusing the company of having “shot themselves and the whole industry in the foot,” while another suggests that it “shows how far away from those regulations they are, if they’re not even going to attempt to meet them.” It seems pretty clear that EA is going to have a hard time trying to convince people that it’s the underdog in all this.